Jessica Azulay of the Alliance for a Green Economy must not look out her window as she drives through Dover or Wawayanda. She must not roll down her car window in Queens to breathe what Ravenswood and Astoria belch out. Azulay must be unwilling simply to look at the New York Independent System Operator dashboard and see that gas combustion replaced lost energy when Indian Point was shut down.
In the commentary “Yes, renewables can supply New York’s energy needs,” June 7, Azulay makes a common mistake as she praises the Indian Point closures, suggesting all watt-hours are created equal. Intermittent wind turbines and solar panels scattered across New York do not replace reliable baseload power delivered to the downstate grid. Instead, New York state approved big fossil-fuel power plants – Cricket Valley and CPV – not mentioned in Azulay’s commentary. Fracked-gas power plants – not intermittent resources – replaced Indian Point’s baseload electricity.
Renewable energy does not contribute significantly to New York’s grid. All the wind turbines and solar panels statewide generate less annual electricity than just one of Indian Point’s two recently closed reactors. Unlike the recent NYISO phase 2 climate study, the PJM report cited does provide credible numbers for intermittent resource deployment. NYISO’s report indicates, even with projected offshore wind, with current hydro and existing nuclear, we will need over a million acres of land-based wind and 200 square miles of solar. Where will New York put that? Another NYISO publication warns that more gas plants may need to be permitted.
Perhaps eliminating nuclear power is more important to AGREE than meeting state climate goals or shuttering gas power plants.
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